While Gossip Girl relayed the antics of teens on the Upper East Side, screen icon Julie Andrews will be going back in time to report on the salacious stories and power struggles of Regency London’s competitive marriage market.
Based on Julia Quinn’s bestselling novels set in 19th century high society, Bridgerton is not your grandmother’s period drama.
The first offering since Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal creator Shonda Rhimes signed a A$200 million deal with streaming service Netflix, the eight-episode series will drop in full on Christmas Day.
Watch the trailer in the video player above
The trailer for the highly-anticipated series was released today and introduces Daphne Bridgerton (played by Phoebe Dynevor), the eldest daughter of the powerful Bridgerton family.
It begins with the narration of the mysterious Lady Whistledown (Andrews) who also writes a column detailing the lives of London’s elite.
From glamorous balls to orchestra performances and presentations to the Queen, the trailer details the events and lengths the young ladies must go to in order to secure a suitable marriage match.
“This is what they have been trained on since birth. Which young ladies might succeed at securing a match?” Whistledown teases.
While she wants to find a match sparked by true love, Daphne is having trouble finding a potential suitor, and is soon singled out by the gossip writer as ineligible.
But, when she meets the rebellious Simon Basset, Duke of Hastings (Regé-Jean Page), the two hatch a plan.
While he is being pursued by the debutantes’ mothers and she is worried about being ruined by her inability to find a husband, they decide to pretend to form an attachment.
“Every presumptuous mother in town will leave me alone and every suitor will be looking at you,” the Duke assures her, but they appear to soon form a real connection.
Like Jane Austen tales before it, the series also presents women unhappy with their status in society, with Daphne asking at one point “Do you think that just because I am a woman I am incapable of making my own decisions?”
Created by Scandal producer Chris Van Dusen, the series has also been applauded for pushing back against expectations of period dramas and placing people of colour in powerful positions in the class hierarchy.
It imagines a British aristocracy where Queen Charlotte (Golda Rosheuvel) is mixed race, while other people of colour have privileged positions.
Bridgerton will be released on Netflix next Friday, December 25.